The Faulkner County Election Commission on Tuesday certified results from the preferential primary election held one week earlier, but not before the newest commissioner pleaded for more transparency from the commission and the county clerk’s office. Chris Carnahan of Conway, the commission’s newest member, said he was informed the day after the election that about 500 votes were not initially counted. He later learned that the number was 759. The uncounted votes were discovered after officials dealt with a computer error. The votes were added to candidates’ totals before election results were certified. The 759 votes did not change the outcome of any primary race. “It is troubling that I was not informed about this,” said Carnahan, who served as executive director of the Arkansas Republican Party from 1999-2001. “I think that all three election commissioners should be notified as soon as possible.”
Carnahan, now a deputy prosecuting attorney, also said that any county clerk’s office personnel who are involved with an election need to attend Election Commission meetings in case questions arise. “I have five [employees] in my office that worked” during the election, said County Clerk Melinda Reynolds, a Democrat. “I can close the office and bring them all here.”
The commission certified the vote after considering eight provisional ballots, rejecting five and counting three. Those who submitted the five rejected ballots will be informed and allowed to appeal the decision. Five ballots were rejected because the voters are registered in Pulaski County but live in Faulkner County.